/// 31 January 2010 /// (Updated: 07 February 2010)
Target's exclusive Glam Bike™ Barbie® giftset

As I said in this entry, Target stores in the US have been getting a lot of exclusive dolls lately. Another case in point: This Glam Bike! Doll & Bicycle giftset.

Although the box says it's "Only at Target", I think this is actually a mainline foreign market set that's only available domestically at Target stores. (A lot of "store exclusive" Barbie dolls in the US - including some of the ones sold at Target - are actually widely-available, non-store-specific mainline dolls in other countries.)

Barbie® Beach Party™ Doll & Bicycle

This set is very similar to the Beach Party ("Riviera" outside the US) Doll & Bicycle set that was widely-available (both domestically and internationally) last year. You can see it in the picture to the right.

In fact, the Glam Bike! set almost looks like a color-swapped repeat of the Beach Party set. The only major difference (aside from some missing accessories) is the doll, which (thanks to Barbie's 2009 "makeover") uses the enlarged 1998 "Generation Girl™" Barbie® head rather than the open-mouth 2005 Barbie head the Beach Party doll uses.

(The Glam Bike! outfit also looks like a color-swapped version of the Beach Glam one, but it's actually completely different - just with a very similar look.)

There's another major difference, but it's not noticeable at first:

Beach Party! Barbie has a real dog; Glam Bike! Barbie's dog is flat and cardboard-y

That's right: Glam Bike! Barbie left her dog at home and brought a cardboard cutout of him with her instead. The Beach Party! set came with an actual dog figurine, and one of the selling points on the packaging was that the dog "bounced" up and down in the basket. Of course, it's actually the basket that bounces up and down, and the parts that make it do that still seem to be there on the Glam Bike! version, although it isn't mentioned on the box this time. (I guess "Empty basket bounces up and down!" doesn't sound like as much of a "feature". )

Incidentally - I didn't know this, but apparently the Beach Party! doll and bicycle was re-issued recently in a new version using the enlarged 1998 "Generation Girl™" Barbie® head.

(I realize you can't see it very well in this picture, but trust me - it's a different head from the one above. )

I've never seen this version in person. It seems to be almost exactly the same as the original issue, except for the different head (and the missing "Doll & Bicycle" under the logo on the front of the box). Several of last year's dolls were changed to the 1998 head during the year, but the Beach Party! Doll & Bicycle is unique because the "re-issue" has a different model number from the original, making it a totally distinct product. (The other "updated" dolls I've seen have all used the same model numbers as the original versions.)

The "re-issue" also uses the vintage Barbie logo, but the original Beach Party! doll & bicycle set was actually changed (like many other dolls) to use this logo in the middle of last year. (The one shown in the picture at the top is the earlier version.)

(07 February 2009)

Thanks to Mark M. for letting me know that this doll is listed on the website of UK retailer Argos. I've seen it listed on other non-US websites as well, and I also saw a picture somewhere of one without the "Only at Target" sticker on the box. (It also didn't have the "Glam Bike" name written on it.)

If you see this doll for sale in a store outside the US, please let me know!

Doll Diary 31 January 2010